Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 Licences

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (the Act) was passed on 28th February 2013 and is due to come into force on the 1st October 2013.

The Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and consolidates scrap metal dealers & motor salvage operators under one licensing regime. Local Authorities will continue to act as the main regulator but the new Act gives Licensing Authorities more powers, including the power to refuse a licence and powers to revoke licences if the dealer is considered unsuitable. Both the Local Authority and the Police have been given powers to enter and inspect premises.

Licence Summary
The Act defines a "scrap metal dealer" as a person who is for the time being carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer, whether or not authorised by a licence.

It further states that "scrap metal" includes:

(a) any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and

(b) any product, article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life.

The following is not considered to be "scrap metal":

(a) gold,

(b) silver, and

(c) any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

Transitional Arrangements – Operators registered under existing legislation and New Applicants
Below you will find the timeframe for the ending of the Scrap Metal Dealer Act 1964, and the commencement of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

  • All scrap metal dealers can apply for a scrap metal dealer's licence from 1st October 2013.
  • Providing an existing registered scrap metal dealer or motor salvage operator who is currently registered under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 or Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 submits an application on or by 15th October 2013 they will be deemed to have a licence under the new Act until their new application has been determined.
  • Local authorities will complete checks to assess applicants' suitability to hold a licence between 15th October 2013 and 1st December 2013.
  • If an existing registered scrap metal dealer or motor salvage operator does not submit an application on or by 15th October 2013 their licence will lapse on 16th October 2013. The dealer would then have to submit an application and wait for a licence to be issued before they can trade legally.
  • Scrap metal dealers or motor salvage operators who are not registered with this Authority under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 or the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 can apply for a scrap metal dealer's licence from 1st October 2013 but must wait for a licence to be issued before they can trade legally.
  • The offence of buying scrap metal for cash will come into force on 1st October 2013.
  • Local authority officers and police officers will have the right to enter and inspect sites from 1st October 2013.
  • The majority of the other enforcement provisions within the Act will come into force on 1st December 2013.

Role of the Licensing Authority
Fit and Proper Test
The Licensing Authority has to be satisfied that an applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. In considering suitability, the Local Authority must consult with:

  • Any other Local Authority (if an application has been made or licence issued to the same applicant),
  • The Environment Agency, and
  • The Police

In order to assess the following criteria:

  • Whether the applicant or any site manager has been convicted of any relevant offence.
  • Whether the applicant or any site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action.
  • Any previous refusal for issue of or renewal of a scrap metal licence.
  • Any previous refusal for an environment permit or registration.
  • Any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence.
  • Whether the applicant has demonstrated that there will be adequate procedures to comply with the Act.

All of the above will apply to any director or any secretary of a company if the applicant is not an individual.

Conditions attached to a Licence
Local Authorities, when issuing a licence, may impose prescribed conditions if the licensee or site manager has been convicted of a relevant offence. The two conditions that can be imposed by Local Authorities on a licence, namely:

(a) that the dealer must not receive scrap metal except between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any day; and

(b) that all scrap metal received must be kept in the form in which it is received for a specified period, not exceeding 72 hours, beginning with the time when it is received.

Variation of a Licence
The Licensing Authority may vary a licence, imposing the conditions stipulated in the above paragraph, if the licensee or a site manager is convicted of a relevant offence.

Revocation of a Licence
The Licensing Authority may revoke a licence on particular grounds, including where the Local Authority is no longer satisfied that the licensee is a suitable person to carry on the business as a scrap metal dealer.

Responsibilities of a Licensee

A licensee must display a copy of their licence.

For site operators this must be in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.

For mobile collectors, it must be in a manner which enables the licence to be easily read by a person outside the vehicle. A criminal offence is committed by any scrap metal dealer who fails to fulfil these requirements.

The Act places a requirement on scrap metal dealers, site managers and employees who have been delegated the responsibility to do so, to verify the identity of the person they are receiving metal from and the person’s address. This verification must be done by reference to data, documents or other information obtained from a reliable or independent source, such as the Identity and Passport Service, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, a bank or utility company etc. The Secretary of State will prescribe in regulations the data or documents which are sufficient, or not sufficient as the case may be, for verifying identity.

It will be an offence not to obtain and verify the seller's identity. The offence will apply to the scrap metal dealer, the site manager and any person, who under arrangements made by either the scrap metal dealer or the site manager, has responsibility for fulfilling this requirement on behalf of the business.

Section 13 of the Act sets out the record-keeping requirements in respect of any scrap metal received by a scrap metal dealer in the course of their business. Information that is required to be recorded includes the type of metal being purchased; the time/date of the transaction; personal information on the seller; who is acting on behalf of the dealer and proof of the non-cash transaction. Failure to comply with the requirements of this section is an offence attracting a penalty up to level 5 on the standard scale.

The Act also prohibits the payment of cash for metals.

How to Apply for a Scrap Metal Dealers Licence under the new Act
Types of Licence
There are two types of licence, one for a site and the other for a mobile collector.

Site Licence
A site licence will be issued by the Local Authority in whose area a scrap metal site is situated and will require all of the sites at which the licensee carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer within the Local Authority area to be identified and a site manager to be named for each site. In doing so, they will be permitted to operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, including transporting scrap metal to and from those sites from any Local Authority area.

Mobile Collector's Licence
A mobile collector's licence will authorise the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing Local Authority, permitting them to collect any scrap metal as appropriate. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal.

Please Note – a scrap metal dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area. Applicants have to decide as to the appropriate licence to apply for as they cannot hold both a site and mobile collector’s licence within the same Licensing Authority area.

The licence does not permit the collector to collect from any other Local Authority area; a separate licence would need to be obtained from each Local Authority in whose area the individual wished to collect in. A licence also does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area - should a collector wish to use a fixed site, they would need to obtain a site licence from the relevant Local Authority. There is no restriction as to the location where the collector may transport and sell their metals.

The Birmingham City Council Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence and Mobile Collector’s Licence application forms are attached at the bottom of this page.

Duration of Licence
A licence, if granted, will be issued for a period of three years from the date of issue.

You can apply for your licence by one of the following methods:

  • By email - completed applications can be submitted electronically by attaching the completed form and any associated supporting documents to an email and sending it to the Scrap Metal Licensing Team email address being: licensingonline@birmingham.gov.uk

    Please note that electronic applications submitted by email can only be accepted if there is a scanned signature on the application form together with copies of any supporting documents. Please Note the original documents will need to available and produced on request. On receipt of your application by email a Licensing Officer will contact the applicant to acquire payment of the appropriate fee (see below) via a debit or credit card.
  • By Post - send completed applications and any supporting documents to the address as indicated in the contact details below.
    Postal applications must be accompanied by a cheque or postal order for the appropriate fee (see below) and made payable to 'Birmingham City Council'.

The new Act requires more detailed information to be submitted on application and will allow the Local Authority to set a fee. The fee may be set locally and must be set at cost recovery of considering and determining the application; and when setting a fee Local Authorities must have regard to the guidance that will be issued by the Secretary of State.

Application Type: Grant or Renewal Fee
Scrap Metal Dealer - site licence [first issue or renewal]* £1236
Two sites £2258
Three sites + £3281
Scrap Metal Dealer - mobile collectors licence [first issue or renewal]* £298
Replacement licence [where original lost or stolen]** £30

* valid for three years from date of issue
** valid for remaining duration of the original licence issued

Please note: Scrap Metal Dealer Licences can be varied in a number of ways as detailed in the table below. This Authority has determined a scale of charges to take account of the costs associated with varying an existing licence.

Application Type: Variation Application made in Year 1 of Licence Application made in Year 2 of Licence Application made in Year 3 of Licence
Site Licence to a Collector’s Licence*** -£554 (Refund) -£240 (Refund) £70
Collector’s Licence to a Site Licence £1008 £724 £355
New Site Manager and/or Partner**** £200 £200 £200
Minor Amendment (i.e. where no CRB disclosure certificate is required or assessment of an individual’s suitability)**** £70 £70 £70

*** the refund for the variation of a Site Licence to a Collector's Licence made in Years 1 and 2 are exempt from the standard refund policy detailed below
**** these fees are applicable at any point during the life of the licence

Standard Refund Policy - 50% refund in respect of withdrawn applications. No refund payable for refused applications.

Contact details

Scrap Metal Dealer Licensing
Birmingham City Council
PO Box 15908
B2 2UD

Telephone: 0121 303 9896
e-mail: licensingonline@birmingham.gov.uk